OCTOBER 14 – NOVEMBER 19, 2017
Opening Reception Saturday, October 14, 2017
6:00 – 9:00 PM
Artists’ talks at 6:30 PM
Projections Promenade by Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola
Sunset (6:50) – 9:30 PM
Giovanni Valderas pulls from his culture, history, and origins to produce three-dimensional mixed-media works that address the tattered relationships with his Guatemalan, Mexican, and American ancestry. This new work addresses issues with gentrification in Spanish speaking communities and incorporate frayed elements of the piñata. Through the use of idioms incorporated into piñata forms, Valderas transforms these objects associated with celebration to highlight an alternate view of the decay of traditional structures. Installed guerilla style alongside commercial real estate development signs in Dallas-Fort Worth, Valderas’ piñatas start a conversation about the rapid gentrification of communities in juxtaposition to messages of power and influence.
The exhibition’s title piece, Tradecraft, consists of an installation of fourteen 48 inch letters, spelling the phrase “QUIÉN LOS PARARÀ.” At first glance the phrase’s potentially pejorative meaning, which translates to “Who will stop them,” is subverted into a message of empowerment for Spanish speakers. QUIÉN LOS PARARÀ is intended to co-opt words of fear and transcend them into a positive message for the culturally marginalized. The installation appropriates the piñata form in an effort to transform its original identity in popular culture from one of mere birthday celebrations, to one of a cultural construct in an attempt to decipher the complex history between US and Latin America. Through this work, Valderas aims to engage viewers and provoke a sense of empathy.
A native of Dallas, M. Giovanni Valderas is the Assistant Gallery Director at Kirk Hopper Fine Art. He also was appointed by Dallas City Council as Vice Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission, under Mayor Mike Rawlings. Previously he was the Gallery Director at Mountain View College. Valderas graduated from the College of Visual Arts & Design at the University of North Texas with a Master of Fine Arts in Drawing & Painting. He has taught Mural Painting, Beginning and Intermediate Figure Drawing at the University of North Texas as well as Foundation Drawing and Art Appreciation at Richland and Mountain View College. He is a former member of 500x gallery, one of the oldest co-op galleries in Texas. His work has been featured in the 2013 Texas Biennial, New American Paintings Magazine, issues #108 and #132, and Impossible Geometries: Curated works by Lauren Haynes at Field Projects in New York City.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
1:00 – 4:00 PM
Exhibit-Connect Workshop – Piñatas: Casitas (Little Houses)
Regina Agu explores representations of the physical and historical landscape in her exhibition Sea Change. Agu’s work explores narratives related to language, history, and representation, and their intersections in contemporary ideas around landscape and communities of color. Central to the exhibition is an 80-foot panoramic photograph printed on billboard vinyl documenting a group of prototype sand dunes constructed from the sargassum that regularly washes up on Galveston’s shores. Using landscape photography, environmental research, and source texts including Jean Rhys’ 1966 feminist novel Wide Sargasso Sea, Sea Change is a speculative commentary on climate change, the tourism industry, environmental justice, and interrelated economies.
Regina Agu currently serves on the Board of Directors at Project Row Houses, Houston, TX and since 2014 has been the Co-Director of Alabama Song, Houston. From 2014-2015, she was the Artist Board President at DiverseWorks, Houston. Awards and residencies include Artadia Houston Award, 2017; Lawndale Artist Studio Resident, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, 2017-2018; SEED Grant for Alabama Song (with Gabriel Martinez), The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, 2016; Open Sessions 2016-2017, The Drawing Center, New York, NY, 2016; Associate Artist in Residence, Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL, 2015; Southern Constellations Fellow and Artist-in-residence, Elsewhere, Greensboro, NC, 2015; The Idea Fund Grant for Friends of Angela Davis Park (with Gabriel Martinez), Houston, 2014; Individual Artist Grant – Emerging, Houston Arts Alliance, Houston, 2012; and Creative Capital Master Class, Houston, 2012. Most recently, Agu was featured in the group exhibitions into the midst of things, DiverseWorks, curated by Rachel Lynn Cook; and Where Do We Stand?, The Drawing Center, New York, NY, on view August 3, 2017 – September 17, 2017, curated by Nova Benway and Lisa Sigal. Agu lives and works in Houston, TX.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Exhibit-Connect Artist Talk: Regina Agu in conversation with Dr. Jens Figlus
Christie Blizard presents work from her ongoing project in which the artist holds up text paintings on The Today Show and Good Morning America. Through Blizard’s disruptions of the broadcast, she tests the boundaries of free speech in America. Since 2014, Blizard has made approximately 30 appearances in the audience of broadcasts of these popular morning television programs. The project has gained national attention through articles in Hyperallergic and ArtNews, and was nominated for an Art Matters award. For her exhibition, Wanting not to want, Blizard presents a new series of text paintings, video projections and still images taken from appearances during the summer of 2017. During the opening reception, Blizard will perform as Matt Lauer, host of The Today Show.
Christie Blizard is a national and international exhibiting artist, working in a variety of media merging painting, poetry, and performance. Since 2006, she has been featured in over 70 national and international art exhibitions including those curated by several renowned art figures such as: internationally known artists Mel Chin and Pradip Malde; Dr. Charissa Terranova, Assistant Professor of Aesthetic Studies and Director of Centraltrak Artist Residency at UT Dallas; Rene Barilleaux, Chief Curator at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Carter Foster, Curator of Drawings at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Heather Pesanti, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Carnegie Museum of Art, and Antoine Guerrero, Director of Exhibitions at PS1. Recent exhibitions include an invitation to the Texas Biennial 2011 and 2013 curated by Virginia Rutledge held in Austin, and solo exhibitions at Lawndale Center for Art in Houston and Women and Their Work in Austin. Other recent residencies and fellowships include Artpace San Antonio in 2017, the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH and Centraltrak Artist in residence program through the University of Texas at Dallas. Her work has been featured in ArtNews, Hyperallergic, Blouin ArtInfo, and Art in America.
These exhibitions are presented in partnership with the 2017 Texas Biennial.